VEER is an award-winning hard rock band from Annapolis, Maryland, founded in 2016 by Ronald Malfi, Jon Malfi, Ryan Fowler, and Christian Mathis. Their debut album, Apocalyptic, Baby, was released on December 1, 2018, where it immediately broke the Amazon Top 100 rock albums. That same year, they were awarded Best Rock Band by the Maryland Music Awards, then received an award for Best Rock Song for their single, "Come Clean," by the World Songwriting Awards, an international organization that promotes and recognizes songwriting in various genres throughout 129 countries worldwide.
The backbone of the band consists of bassist Christian Mathis and drummer Jon Malfi, whose cohesion forms a steady pulsing groove at the heart of each song. Hook-laden choruses and driving guitar riffs are augmented by lead guitarist Ryan Fowler's blistering solos, while Ronald Malfi's enigmatic lyrics soar through each melody.
The band's energetic live performances have quickly earned them a place among the mid-Atlantic's elite, and they have been direct support for a number of national acts, including Buckcherry, Sponge, Fuel, Puddle of Mudd, Trapt and 40 Below Summer.
When Cris Jacobs began dreaming about a follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2016 album Dust to Gold, he realized early on he'd have to do things differently this time around. His life had changed drastically since writing those songs: he'd toured extensively and attracted a legion of new, devoted fans; he'd come off the road into a world, with its divisive rhetoric and troubling headlines, he no longer recognized; and, most importantly, he'd gotten married and had his first child. Things had changed, and Jacobs had, too.
Color Where You Are is the work of an artist at an exciting new stage in his life and career, ready to use his talents to share a little beauty with the loved ones and fans who have already given so much to him. The title nods to Jacobs' experience writing the album, which, as he puts it, he had to do "between tours, coming home, changing diapers, fixing things around the house.... You name it." He no longer had the luxury of waiting for inspiration to strike, so he colored where he was.
"It was a new discipline for me and a new level of focus that I think brought out the best work," he explains. "I feel like I grew up a little bit. There are people in my life who I truly care about and things in the world I feel deeply about. That really pushed me in a stronger direction and forced me to feel things on an honest level."
While life as a family man changed Jacobs' perspective (and schedule), current events also had a profound impact on Jacobs' songwriting, with commentary on social and political issues finding its way into tracks like "Afterglow" and "Under the Big Top." Color Where You Are is a hopeful affair, though, with Jacobs employing thoughtful criticism and messages of empowerment instead of wallowing or ruminating.
Spanning rock, folk, soul and funk and drawing from inspiration that runs the gamut from the henhouse to the White House, Color Where You Are is a kaleidoscopic portrait of Cris Jacobs as a songwriter, musician and bandleader. It's the work of a devoted father and an empathetic member of the human race. More than that, it's a reminder that there's beauty to be found everywhere, if you just take a moment to color where you are.
"What am I trying to do with my music?" Jacobs muses. "The simple answer is this: I’m trying to connect with people. To express real-life human emotions and make people feel things. To connect my love of music with my love of writing and conjure up all of the joy and emotions that those things bring to me. To hopefully have people walk away feeling lighter or happier or more inspired to go do something after listening... I want to create a body of work that my family will be proud of one day, and to show that I had compassion to the human condition and wasn’t just a self-indulgent show off."
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